I will explain terms, which may be mentioned in my updates, here.
CBC – Complete Blood count
CMP – Complete Metabolic Panel
RBC – Red Blood Cell
WBC – White Blood Cell
STS – Soft Tissue Sarcoma
Gem/Tax – the chemo regimen that I tried first (Gemcitibine/Taxotere aka Gemzar/Docetaxel). This was my first chemo.
Dox/Olara – the second chemo regimen that I tried (Doxarubicin/Olaratumab aka Adriamycin/Lartruvo). This was my second chemo.
Yondelis (Trabectedin) – the third chemo regimen I tried. It didn’t work either.
Cabometyx (Cabozantinib)- the fourth chemo regimen I tried and failed. This one was oral chemo. It is technically for kidney cancer, but the genetic report I had done on my tumor indicated that it could work for me. Maybe it would have if I could have tried it sooner. Everything takes so long to get approved, which is truly awful in general, and even worse for patients you know don’t have time to screw around.
Tumor Lysis Syndrome – Tumor lysis syndrome is characterized by high blood potassium (hyperkalemia), high blood phosphorus (hyperphosphatemia), low blood calcium (hypocalcemia), high blood uric acid (hyperuricemia), and higher than normal levels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and other nitrogen-containing compounds (azotemia). These changes in blood electrolytes and metabolites are a result of the release of cellular contents of dying cells into the bloodstream from breakdown of cells. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tumor_lysis_syndrome and http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/diagnosis-and-treatment/managing-side-effects/tumour-lysis-syndrome/?region=on)
Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome – Disease characterized by triad of conditions: hemolytic anemia (anemia where the red blood cells are destroyed – some of you may recall that one of our cats has hemolytic anemia, but it’s unknown what caused it), acute kidney failure (uremia), and a low platelet count. It is believed that my HUS was induced by Gemzar, which is a known, if rare, side effect of Gemzar. It’s listed as an allergy for me now.
Metastasis – The development of secondary malignant growths at a distance from a primary site of cancer.
Debulking is the reduction of as much of the bulk (volume) of a tumor as possible. It is usually achieved by surgical removal.
Palliative Care – For those of you not familiar, this is not the same as hospice care! While they both provide comfort to the patient, and help with pain management and quality of life, palliative care can begin at diagnosis, although mine didn’t start until January 2018. Hospice care begins after treatment ends; it is end of life care. I want to stress that I am absolutely not on hospice care. Even when things were dire, I refused it because I wanted to live, despite the hospital’s best efforts to do otherwise. They would later send my wife a letter (after I died) saying they had provided the “appropriate pain management care that she was there for”. No, I was there to live. Hospice was very determined and kept checking my heart each visit so they could bill me. It took Amanda calling my insurance company to report it as fraud to get the Hospice team to stay away! This is NOT okay.